E-Verify Is Still an Excellent Tool for Verifying Work Authorization

Verifying Work Authorization
January 10, 2023

E-verify is one of the best ways for employers to confirm the employment eligibility of their workers. Verifying employment eligibility is necessary for workers, primarily because of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This act prohibits employers or entities from knowingly hiring, recruiting, or referring an unauthorized alien for a fee for employment.

Employers must verify the employment of anyone they hire to work in the United States. This process involves completing the employment eligibility verification (Form I-9). Once completed, the employer must examine the documents to verify the authorization and identity of the employee. Next, the employer must physically review the paperwork, attesting to the genuineness and relation to the person presenting everything.

Suppose the employer finds the documents do not appear genuine and relate to the applicant or employee presenting them. In that case, the employer can ask the person to show different acceptable documents to meet the requirement for Form I-9.

Employees must also attest to being nationals of the United States, citizens, or aliens authorized under the INA or Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Doing so makes them hirable, recruitable, or referrable for employment under penalty of perjury. Once the process is complete, employers must retain Form I-9. In addition, they must produce it for inspection if requested by the Department of Labor (DOL) or the DHS for up to three years after hiring the individual or for one year after terminating employment, whichever is later.

Unfortunately, employers may struggle with the I-9 process. For example, determining the documents’ authenticity proves challenging because many lack the training to identify everything confidently. As a result, incorrect or incomplete forms get accepted without further inspection, leaving matters uncertain about whether the paperwork remains audit compliant. This uncertainty leaves too much room for unintentional fraud by employers and employees.

However, the easy-to-use E-verify system can help with this. E-verify is a web-based system that employers can use to verify their employee’s eligibility to work in the United States. On average, employers can expect the system to confirm an employee’s work authorization immediately or within a day.

According to E-Verify.gov, the system automatically verified the authorization to work immediately or within 24 hours for 98.39% of employees for the third quarter of the fiscal year 2022. As such, this quick and accurate verification system ensures that employers can move forward in their hiring processes. However, of the 1.61% of employees that receive initial system mismatches, the system flagged 1.5% as unauthorized to work.

E-verify is also free and takes very little time to complete the process. Furthermore, employers will find it easy to use and capable of reducing the chances of not complying with the employment eligibility regulations.

Completing the employment eligibility process can prove challenging. For example, many employers find costly mistakes due to a lack of understanding of the requirements. As such, employers should use an electronic I-9 management tool that offers E-Verify integration. This system can guide employers through the process and ensure hiring personnel know which documents are suitable to prove work authorization.

Learn more about automating your employment eligibility verification and ensuring compliance with I-9 Compliance.